SalesTechStar Interview with Susan Cook, CEO at Zaloni
Apr 20, 2022
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Susan, tell us more about your B2B tech journey and also, what its like as CEO of Zaloni today! My path into B2B tech isn’t the most traditional. Graduating with my finance degree, I thought investment banking was my path…Instead of pursuing any of the banking offers I got right out of school, I took the one finance and accounting job for a company in Dallas, known as Electronic Data Systems, at the time. The company opened my eyes to technology, giving me the opportunity to learn old mainframe languages and work with large enterprise customers. Since then, selling and implementing technology solutions has been my career. At the end of 2019, I started my current role as Zaloni’s CEO and it has been a big step for me in my data and analytics journey. To say the least, it has been a whirlwind as I have led my company through major world disruptions like the pandemic and civil unrest in India, along with many more positive ones like rebranding, new product launches, and an immense amount of growth for our employees, customers, and overall company. We’d love to hear about some of Zaloni’s latest innovations and features. The platform was recently recognized as a top metadata provider: tell us more! At Zaloni, we are consistently striving to provide our customers with an innovative platform that provides the security and compliance of data governance with the holistic DataOps approach to data management. The Zaloni Arena platform accelerates time to insight through unified data governance across hybrid or multi-cloud ecosystems and machine learning-powered automation to deliver high-quality data at scale. In the coming year, we plan to pursue the following:
Expand Arena integration to Databricks, a leading Data Lakehouse platform. This integration will expand our footprint on Azure and lead to new opportunities on the Google Cloud Platform. Arena’s integration with AWS and Snowflake’s data marketplace in addition to a recommendation engine that can provide a business glossary for both 1st and 3rd party data. Ability to classify data at scale by leveraging machine learning and providing automated governance capabilities. To Deploy the Arena platform via Kubernetes across hybrid cloud from a single code base for high availability and rolling upgrades without impacting end users. When it comes to the management of metadata at an enterprise level, what are some of the thoughts/tips you’d share with B2B teams? Incorporating a data governance approach and practices in every step of the enterprise data management strategy is invaluable. When most people hear the word “governance,” they perceive that it’s limiting or inhibiting. It doesn’t have to be. Quite the contrary, good data governance can foster better collaboration, improved data quality, compliance, and metadata management. In reference specifically to metadata management, I don’t really use those terms much anymore, I simply talk about the ability for enterprises to understand what data they have and utilize that data to make better-informed business decisions. For B2B teams optimizing their data tech stacks today, what do you feel they should consider as priorities before honing in on tools? There are a plethora of tools available in the B2B vendor market, so companies looking for a new vendor really need to start with the end in mind. What business problem are you trying to solve? What are the essential capabilities you need to address that specific use case? I think, all too often, technology teams get caught up in best-of-breed tool evaluations for every capability vs. honing in on what is the essential problem they are trying to solve. But, also, with the megavendors and cloud platforms saying, “put all your data here and everything will work perfectly.” Obviously, common sense would caution against putting all your eggs in one basket and getting locked in with no Plan B’s. The rate and pace of innovation in the data and analytics space is faster now than ever before. I think we all have to keep multiple options open. Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital sales/customer communication tips and best practices before we wrap up! I just spoke to the Zaloni go-to-market teams at our Sales Kickoff this week. All the lessons I learned early in my career about sales and serving customers are just as applicable today as they were back then. Taking the time to truly understand a customer’s pain points, their current environment, their barriers to success in all facets of people, process and technology will invariably lead to a much more effective partnership. I told our team that every robust feature and capability of our data governance platform won’t mean a thing if we can’t apply them to solve real business problems for our customers. When we help our customers succeed, our success will follow naturally.